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Conductor Marin Alsop on her upcoming performances at Carnegie Corridor in New York Metropolis : NPR

NPR’s Scott Simon speaks to conductor Marin Alsop about her upcoming performances with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Corridor in New York Metropolis.


Maestra Marin Alsop is again at Carnegie Corridor this month. She is conducting the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the Sao Paulo Symphony Choir on two evenings, October 14 and 15.


SIMON: They’ll discover the wealthy sonic legacy of Brazil and even take the viewers into the depths of Brazil’s rainforest. Maestra Marin Alsop joins us now. Thanks a lot for being with us once more. It has been a couple of months.

MARIN ALSOP: Yeah, it is fantastic to be right here once more.

SIMON: Effectively, how did these Carnegie Corridor performances come about?

ALSOP: Effectively, it was a little bit of a protracted gestation. I acquired concerned with the Sao Paulo Symphony in 2010, once I visitor carried out. And I fell in love with this orchestra and this nation, which I knew nothing about earlier than I went, and, you understand, shortly thereafter turned their music director. They usually had this aspiration that they shared with me, you understand, that they needed to play in Carnegie Corridor and that no Brazilian orchestra had ever been offered by Carnegie Corridor. And so this was an enormous dream of theirs. And so it took a couple of years to come back to fruition. However when Carnegie approached me about bringing an orchestra as a part of the collection, after all, I turned instantly to the orchestra in Brazil and stated, would you wish to go? They usually’re over the moon.

SIMON: Effectively, inform us extra about that. I perceive you are going to function a number of works by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

ALSOP: Sure. , Villa-Lobos is a composer who we do not hear that a lot right here in the US, however he was actually, I believe, most likely like Aaron Copland or Leonard Bernstein was to America, he was to Brazil. He broke down the entire musical style boundaries.


ALSOP: , he introduced common music. He introduced indigenous music. He introduced all types of European parts as properly, and he managed to mix them into an amalgam of very, very authentic Brazilian music that represents the nation, the cultures, the range, the pure world. And so in some ways, he is their nationwide treasure.

SIMON: He acquired to know the Indigenous music of Brazil, did not he?

ALSOP: He did. He liked to inform tales, which apparently, on reflection, had been considerably exaggerated, you understand, getting into and dealing with Indigenous peoples and having all types of adventures. However he did. He liked these themes, these people parts, these authentic tunes, and he introduced them collectively in all of his work. I imply, there isn’t any piece by Villa-Lobos that does not have that factor in it.

SIMON: And he introduced the harmonica into his compositions.

ALSOP: So we’ll function on our opening live performance on October 14 a concerto by Villa-Lobos that he really wrote it whereas he was in the US. However what number of composers write for harmonica? That is my query, actually.

SIMON: Effectively, I used to be going to ask you. I am assuming it should be a brief listing.

ALSOP: Yeah, very brief listing. And I’ve to say that this might be my debut conducting virtuoso harmonica soloists.


ALSOP: It is actually a tremendous expertise as a result of it is bringing this kind of a avenue instrument in a manner, you understand, a populist instrument into the live performance corridor and elevating it in a brand new manner.

SIMON: And inform us about your second efficiency on the 15, as a result of I collect that options an immersive expertise, as they name them these days, works by different Brazilian composers. And it is known as the Amazon Live performance.

ALSOP: The thought was to deliver folks into the center and soul of Brazil, particularly by way of this explicit live performance. After I went to Brazil, I had a really slender view and really stereotypical view of Brazil, the kind of samba and soccer and, you understand, however dwelling there and being a part of the tradition, I discovered it is such a wealthy heritage, and I needed to deliver the orchestra in an expertise that may have folks go away the live performance corridor saying, oh, I had no concept that that is Brazil.

So we put collectively – it is about 75 minutes of steady music ranging in works from modern composers like Clarice Assad to, after all, Villa-Lobos is represented. I imply, the music alone would convey this wealthy heritage, however now we additionally may have visuals by an unimaginable artist named Marcello Dantas, and the pictures might be conveyed all around the surfaces, the partitions, the ceilings behind the orchestra. So I am hoping that individuals will actually really feel they’re in the course of the forest, in the course of this unimaginable nature that Brazil has.


SIMON: Make it again the primary evening’s program for a second. You are going to have “Scheherazade,” the well-known piece by Rimsky-Korsakov.


SIMON: What makes you pair this nice nineteenth century Russian composer with Heitor Villa-Lobos?

ALSOP: That is an exquisite query. And, you understand, it was very instinctual programming on my half, and I believe it was born of the shared exoticism, the narrative of each of those composers, the contrasts, you understand, the storm and the quiet, the love and the hate, the female and the masculine, and I believe each composers convey all of those conflicts and contrasts in several methods. Because it seems, Scott, and I used to be utterly unaware of it, so I am unable to say that this was a part of my data base, however it seems that Rimsky-Korsakov, when he was within the Navy earlier than he turned to being a full-time composer, his ship acquired stranded off of Rio de Janeiro and he spent many, many months in Brazil, coincidentally. So is not that fascinating? As a result of I believe by some means, I felt that in his music, and it is a piece that fits the orchestra fantastically.


SIMON: Maestra Marin Alsop, who will lead the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Corridor subsequent week. Good to have you ever again. Thanks a lot.

ALSOP: Thanks a lot, Scott.

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